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University City to be at the hub of a new DKK 150 million research project

Aarhus University researchers are involved in a major international research project to develop new decision-making tools for renovation featuring sustainability certification. The tools will be developed and tested directly in the design and construction of Aarhus University's new campus, the University City, which is to be built on the old municipal hospital site.

[Translate to English:] Aarhus Universitets kommende campus, der bliver bygget på Kommunehospitalets gamle arealer, Universitetsbyen, bliver et såkaldt Living Lab i projektet med fokus på sundhed og bæredygtig byudvikling. Visualisering: AART Architects.
[Translate to English:] Aarhus Universitets kommende campus, der bliver bygget på Kommunehospitalets gamle arealer, Universitetsbyen, bliver et såkaldt Living Lab i projektet med fokus på sundhed og bæredygtig byudvikling. Visualisering: AART Architects.

With outset in Aarhus University's (AU) new campus, the University City, which is to be built over the next five years, AU will form the framework for an international research project to develop new tools for best building renovation practice, providing a framework for healthy and highly efficient green buildings.

The project is called PROBONO, and it has received EUR 20.2 million, or approx. DKK 150 million, from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. The project has 47 partners from throughout Europe.

"Aarhus University is thrilled about participating in the project, both as a research institution contributing new engineering knowledge and tools, and by physically running a Living Lab in the project; a large-scale laboratory where, as the base for a major renovation project, we will obtain real-life experience with the tools we develop," says Eskild Holm Nielsen, dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences at Aarhus University.

The ambition of PROBONO is to develop and test solutions for the design, construction and operation of new and/or renovated Green Building Neighbourhoods (GBN), with a positive energy balance and zero CO2 emissions. All as part of sustainable, green urban development.

This development will take place in so-called Living Labs (LLs), which the project will establish six of (Madrid, Dublin, Porto, Brussels, Prague and Aarhus). In Aarhus, the project is based on AU’s renovation of the municipal hospital, with total floorspace of 143,306 square metres, and the university's principles for sustainable building projects with a healthy indoor climate that supports research and study environments.

"AU is implementing DGNB certification for the University City as an urban area and for the buildings, but AU will also be the driving force for generating evidence and examples of everything from materials and reuse to innovative business models. There are many examples and a lot of research, from renovating schools for example, but there is only very limited research into how a university's indoor and outside areas can create healthier, more efficient and sustainable research and learning environments. We hope to achieve this with this project," says Aliakbar Kamari, assistant professor at the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and co-head of the Danish part of the project.

The project will illustrate how innovative, smart technology and digitalisation can be used to benefit society. Among other things, the project will provide a GBN Digital Twin implemented across the LLs as a virtual representation of associated GBNs including operational assets that comply with today's sustainability, emissions and health standards in a lifecycle perspective.

The 47 partners in the project come from 15 different countries. PROBONO (short for the integrator-centric approach for realising innovative energy efficient buildings in connected sustainable green neighbourhoods) will run for a total of five years (2021-2026) and has a total budget of EUR 25.3 million. The Danish partners in the project are VisBlue, COWI, GECO Global and AU.

The Danish part of the project is being carried out by researchers from the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Furthermore, researchers from the Department of Environmental Science, AU Centre for Digital Twins (DIGIT) and AU Estates Projects and Development are participating.

The project is being coordinated by Acciona Engineering.


Additional information

We strive to ensure that all our articles live up to the Danish universities' principles for good research communication (scroll down to find the English version on the web-site). Because of this the article will be supplemented with the following information:
Funding This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101037075.
Collaborators  Read more about the project here
Read more Read more about the project here.
Contact

Lektor Carl Peter Leslie Schultz
Aarhus Universitet, Institut for Elektro- og Computerteknologi
Mail: cschultz@ece.au.dk

Adjunkt Aliakbar Kamari
Aarhus Universitet, Institut for Byggeri og Bygningsdesign
Mail: ak@cae.au.dk
Tlf.: +45 28992395

The information and views set out in this press release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.